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Barbara Bowlin

Barbara J. Bowlin, 76, of Menomonie passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, March 13, 2019, at her home.

She was born April 1, 1942, in Eau Claire, Wis., to William and Lucille (Zaborowski) Fisher. She graduated from Regis High in Eau Claire. On May 14, 1960, Barbara married Royal Bowlin. Their life of 54 years together flourished in big and everlasting ways.

For 41 years Barb drove school bus; 33 of those she drove for Menomonie Transportation. She made a point to eagerly welcome each child and create a positive encounter.

Barb was a member of the first Wisconsin Chapter of Muskie’s Inc. and the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation for many years. She was a long-time member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and TOPS. She was one of the initial founders of the Dunn County Humane Society, which was operated out of their home until a formal shelter could be built. Her passion was Bassett Hounds which she rescued tirelessly. She was also an avid quilter, knitter, card player and kids’ board game “loser.” She loved every minute of it.

She favored spending time with her family. Most of all, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren who say that “you could tell her anything with no judgement.” Her friends described her as a wonderful friend and could always be counted upon for help.

Barb is survived by her children, Connie Espina, Valerie (John) Spanjers, Jennifer (Bill) Hewitt, Jacquie Pack, Buddy (Tabitha) Bowlin; nine grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, her siblings, Ruth Getten, Sally (Mike) Ayers, Michael Fisher, Carl (Becky) Fisher, Kathy (George) Houser, Theresa (Larry) Mooney; she is further survived by many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Royal Bowlin; father and mother-in-law, Keith and Grace Bowlin; sisters, June Palahnuik, Luanne Johnson; sister-in-law, Ruth Bowlin; brother-in-law, Bruce Getten; and nephew, Thomas Fisher.

A gathering to celebrate Barb’s life will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March17, at the Menomonie Veteran’s Center (Foxhole Bar).

In lieu of flowers, memorial are suggested to the Dunn County Humane Society.

Olson Funeral Home in Menomonie is assisting the family.

To share a memory, please visit obituaries at

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the life of: Barbara Bowlin
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